In my last article, I shared the notion that divorce is a HUGE change (no kidding!) and that, perhaps, various Change Models could be used as tools to help you survive the fog of your divorce.
So following along this continuing theme, here is yet another Change Model.
Change Model #2:
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (1926-2004) is best known for her book "On Death and Dying." She developed her 'Stage Theory' as a result of observations she made of people dealing with terminal illness and death.
Death is perhaps the greatest change we face. My belief is that divorce is essentially a death--the death of your marriage. Therefor, her Stage Theory might be a good tool for helping you through the fog of your divorce.
My Interpretation of Kubler-Ross' Stage Theory:
1. Denial and Isolation – your spouse says she is leaving; you do not (or cannot) process this; you fight the possibility that your marriage is ending; you kick into "fight or flight" mode.
2. Anger – you get mad at her, at the kids (if any), at your friends, at the house, at your bills, at anything -- as an outlet for your emotional upheaval and as part of the "fight or flight" response.
3. Bargaining – with her or with your maker, "I'll do <fill in the blank> if you'll only come back..." "I promise I'll <be a better husband> <call more often> <say 'I love you'>... if you'll take me back."
4. Depression – this is when reality starts to hit home and you begin to mourn the death of your marriage; you still, however, might be fighting the reality of your situation.
5. Acceptance – this is when you accept that your marriage is indeed ending/over and is the starting point of your recovery.
These stages are not linear and there is no time limit. You can move slowly or quickly through them. You might not experience all of them (though that is not likely).
- What have you experienced so far?
- Where might you be in your journey?
- Are you stuck in any stage?
- Are you avoiding any stage?
- What will it take to move forward?
- What will you need to move forward?